As a third year at ICO, you are required to complete a “CPS rotation.” This is when you work at an off-campus site owned by the school and treat patients within the Chicago Public School system. Patients rage in ages from infancy to 21 years old. The location of the site is Princeton Elementary School. A portion of it has been transformed into a clinic where students from surrounding schools can be treated.
Working with CPS gives us a chance to enhance the availability of healthcare within the Chicago community. Patients receive free exams, and if any of the children need glasses, they are able to get them either through their insurance or grants. If ICO students are very interested in pediatrics, have a chance to pick up extra CPS shifts.
To be honest, when I first started my CPS rotation, I was pretty anxious. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was nervous about working with very young children. The exams are so different from how we would work with an adult! I was worried about being able to maintain their attention. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one. My fellow students and even my attending all understood how I felt and were great about walking all of us through it.
Now, my favorite part about CPS is when the children that we are working with are very excited to be there and get new glasses. Many of the children start out a little nervous but warm up in the elementary school setting and when they get to be there with their friends. Not only is this an excellent learning experience for us as students, it is also a great way to help out our local community.